This week, we've got a graphic designer/cover artist/author/super mom - in her own words - on the hot seat. The writer of the extraordinary Brothers in Betrayal, Heidi Sutherlin is a kind and lovely woman in person, and her vast variety of talents make her unique.
Nicole: When did you start writing? Has writing always been a big part of your life? Will it continue to be?
Heidi: I've always written. I was the editor of my newspaper in high school, started out as a Journalism major in college before switching to Graphic Design. I didn't think seriously about writing a novel until my sister in law wrote her first and then her second book. My mom had always wanted me to write one and I thought to myself, "I could do that." What started out as an idle challenge, has since turned into one published book and five more in progress.
N: What inspired you to begin writing?
H: My mom. I've always been reading which naturally was the counterpart to writing. My mom writes beautifully and was always encouraging me in my own words. She taught me to read long before I went to school and gifted me with the love of stories.
N: Name your favorite book. What is it about it you like?
H: This is a tough one because I have many "favorites," but if I had to pick just one it would be a series the Sign of the Seven Trilogy by Nora Roberts. I like these three books because they combine a sense of community, a great ensemble cast, a solidparanormal aspects and suspense all in one. Nora Roberts does a wonderful job of painting a community so that you fall in love with it as much as your characters. The cast of characters, a group of six people come together and bond through their trials and the task of defeating evil. The Three Sisters Island Series also by Nora Roberts would be a close second for all of the same reasons.
N: Tell us about your favorite (of your characters). What are his/her motives? Why is s/he your favorite?
H: My favorite character comes from a comic book, Tank Girl. She is irreverent, kind, vicious, revolutionary, sarcastic, loyal and has a wicked sense of humor. She is motivated by loyalty, a very personal code of honor and a wonderful sense of fun. What's not to love there?
N: Tell us about your least favorite (of your characters). What are his/her motives? Why is s/he your least favorite?
H: I don't have a least favorite character, because I have a healthy appreciation of all characters even, sometimes especially, the evil ones.
N: What genre is your favorite to read? To write? Why?
H: My favorite genre is Romance - Suspense, Paranormal and Category. I live for the eventual happy ending, even if I have to drag my characters through terror and mayhem to get there. Although my first love has always been Science Fiction, I'm waiting to write in that genre until I'm more confident in my world building skills.
N: If you could become one of your characters, who would it be and why? What would you do differently in your story
H: At this moment, I'd want to be Grace the heroine of BROTHERS IN BETRAYAL, because she's edgy, adorable and has really great taste in shoes - Dr Martens, to be precise. However, when I inevitably fall for each character I'm writing tend to try them all on as I go.
N: How do you write? Do you have a special place, do you listen to music, how much do you write a day, etc.?
H: I write in binges, sitting down and writing 10-20k in a couple or three days. Then nothing for a week or two, sometimes longer. When I discipline myself, I can be more consistent, but I plot in my head and so when I'm ready then I sit down and let it all out. I do all of my writing at my desk and listen to appropriate music for the book I'm working on at the moment. I always write at night, as I'm a night owl.
N: Okay . . . random question time. Pirate or ninja? Which one would you rather be, and about which one would you rather write? Why?
H: Definitely Team Ninja. I'd most definitely rather write about ninjas. As a matter of fact there's a small ninja joke in this book, as I've been pro ninja for years. It's sort of a running joke between my editor and I. "Ninjas made me do it," is my favorite excuse.
N: If you could go back five (or ten or twenty) years in time, what writing advice would you give yourself?
H: If I could go back ten years or so, I'd tell recently-finished-with-college me to sit down and write a little every day. To not wait around until I'd formulated the perfect sentence in my mind, but rather, to allow the right sentences to evolve on the paper as they should.
And now, Heidi's own question to me: If you could blame ninjas for one thing and consistently be forgiven for that ONE THING, what would it be?
N: . . . all the food gone from the fridge. It was ninjas, I tell you.
You can check out Brothers in Betrayal by hopping over to its ebook format, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Paperback copies are available through the publisher Brazen Snake Books on their website, brazensnakebooks.com.